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Theatre review: The Rise & Fall Of Little Voice is a star vehicle for actress Mina Kaye

Published on May 4, 2014 12:55 PM
Cast of The Rise & Fall Of Little Voice (from left) Adrian Pang, Denise Tan, Mina Kaye, Siti Khalijah, Rishi Budhrani and Shane Mardjuki. -- FILE PHOTO: PANGDEMONIUM

It is 1970s Singapore, loud blazers and bell-bottoms are in style, Bugis Street is full of bright young things, and in a charming nod to the discovery of hit composer Dick Lee, a nightclub owner blusters about a "wannabe" Chinese boy who sings in English and wants to perform in Japan.

This is the lively, bustling backdrop against which this local adaptation of The Rise & Fall Of Little Voice is set, a Singapore in its first decade of independence.

Like the titular character of Little Voice, it is also in search of its own artistic voice. It is a surprisingly good fit, and the script has almost been entirely rewritten to embrace the Singapore vernacular and cultural peculiarities.

But the heart of the play is the same: LV (Mina Kaye), a shy, wispy young girl, has a secret and prodigious talent for impersonating the singing voices of numerous legends, from Shirley Bassey to Judy Garland. She is discovered by the sometime boyfriend of her gratingly overbearing mother (Denise Tan) - the seedy talent scout, Ray Say (Adrian Pang), who desperately wants her to perform on stage and rake in a thick commission from her gift.

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